Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chevy Silverado has all the proper pickup perks

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews also can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website – via the “GALLERY: Reviews of new cars” link at www.sacbee.com/business

Sacramento, CaliforniaThe competition for attention in America’s pickup truck market is something to behold … a relentless stakes-raising game of horsepower, toughness, interior comforts and muscular styling.

With an eclectic mix of everyday drivers, ranchers, farmers and construction teams stepping up to buy pickups, I’ve always felt that the best thing you can do in the ever-evolving market is not mess up a good thing.

And fortunately, Chevrolet has more than held serve with its Silverado.

My ride was the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country 4WD Crew Cab going for just a shade less than $50,000.

For that kind of money, you definitely want it to be right.  And my Silverado hit all the marks.  Hit them quite well, to be exact.

Power comes from a 5.3-liter V-8 engine with 355 horsepower.  This throaty power plant has more than enough juice to do the job, and it emits an impressive roar at full song.  Ordinarily, engine noise invading the cabin is an annoyance, and Chevy has touted the quietness of the interior cabin.

And  yes, it is quiet … relatively speaking.

Frankly, in this case, I liked to hear the engine’s growl.  The V-8 all but screamed that the rugged-looking truck was ready to put in some hard work.

My ride was generously loaded with comfort, convenience and even luxury features.  It still amazes me how much finery is being loaded into pickup trucks in this day and age, a far cry from what I experienced as a youngster.

Fuel mileage comes in so-so at 16 miles per gallon in the city and 22 mpg on the open road.  Well, this is a big V-8, so I can’t complain too much.

If you’re truck shopping, keep in mind that a Chevrolet Silverado comes in numerous configurations.  In fact, you’d be a sap to go looking for one without doing a good week’s worth of homework.  There are that many variables to consider.

Silverado’s styling is sweetly intimidating with a chromed-out, get-outta-my-way wall of a grille on the front end.  Gotta have that in today’s market.

I absolutely loved the steps carved into the corners of the rear bumper.  For years, it seemed like no one wanted to admit that climbing up into a truck box from the back end was a chore that could cause you injury, depending on your age, physical condition or what you were toting.

To be able to step up on one of the Silverado’s rear corners and handle/move cargo from outside the bed was a serene experience. My aging back thanks you.

Overall, the Silverado remains a solid “A” grade pickup, with all the tools needed for the road, the job site or the ranch/farm.

Thanks to GM for not messing up a very good thing.

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